Tue. May 28th, 2024

6 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 6

Happen 23

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

Theme: Journey To Raziel’s

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I couldn’t help it; I was terrified. The thought of some unknown vampire creeping through my window, writing me a note to make sure I knew he was there, and then leaving Riley’s bloodied organ just feet away from my sleeping form deeply

unsettled me. I should have known better to open the box once I read the note,

especially since my nose had been able to detect the smell of old blood. I had

cracked the box open only slightly, which was enough to release the foul odor so that it permeated the air in the room, and that was enough to make me freak out

 

and almost throw up on the spot. For the first time all evening, I had been glad to see Gabriel.

I still felt dazed as Gabriel and Eli ushered me out of my room, Gabriel instructing Eli to dispose of Riley’s remains as soon as I was out of sight. I tried not to shudder in disgust. Gabriel stood quite close tome as he led me to the stairs but he made

sure not to touch me. I wondered if it was because he didn’t want to touch me or because of our argument earlier.

Thinking of Gabriel’s earlier words caused pain to lance through my chest and I

winced outwardly. Gabriel glanced at me and I was pretty sure I saw a flash of

concern in his eyes before I strode ahead of him, hurrying down the stairs and into the main living area. All thoughts of the creepy intruder aside, I still felt wounded. I was glad Gabriel had come to my rescue but I still did not want to get too close to him. I had promised myself earlier that I would leave him and move on, taking the unbearable pain as it came, but the thought of doing so now was incredibly

daunting. I could feel my Wolf’s anger with Gabriel but I knew she would have a hard time recovering if I rejected our only Mate. She may never forgive me.

Gabriel indicated that I sit down on the couch and I did so, sinking down into the plush cushions with a sigh. There was a lamp lit next to the table in front of me, accompanied by several maps covered in marks. Gabriel turned the lamp off and made his way over to the majestic fireplace. I watched as he yanked a lever

upwards and then rummaged around a bit before he grabbed a lighter, holding it

out to the large pile of dry logs that sat within. I found myself staring into space yet again.

What was I supposed to do? Gabriel had mentioned that he was going to bring me to meet this Raziel person, whoever it was. Perhaps this could be my chance to find out more about my Mate and his many secrets; but did I even want to? Did I want to involve myself further, only for Gabriel to throw angry and harsh words in my

direction whenever he saw fit?

It wasn’t long before Eli returned and made his way to the kitchen, opening

cabinets and grabbing mugs. As the fire in front of me began to blaze I heard the sound of brewing coffee. Gabriel had settled down in the armchair nearest mine. His muscles were still tense as he stared into the fire, the bright light reflecting in his unfathomable eyes.

I couldn’t help but stare at him, the way the flickering fire accentuated his chiseled features with light and shadow. Some tiny part of me absently wished he weren’t so good looking. Perhaps then I wouldn’t stare at him like apathetic idiot all of the

 

time. Then again, he was my Mate. I’d likely be attracted to him even if he were ugly.

“Who is Raziel?” I blurted out after a few more minutes of silence. I had to say

something before my mind went in circles for so long that I went crazy. The smell of fresh coffee permeated the air and invaded my nostrils, soothing me slightly. I was glad they weren’t trying to get me to go back to sleep, as I knew the

probability of that happening was slim. Then again, it would take quite a few cups of coffee before my body began to even register the caffeine, so drinking the small amount that Eli was probably making wouldn’t actually serve to wake me up. It

would just help me relax.

 

Gabriel looked at me then, his eyes appearing even blacker than normal due to the fire being the only source of light in the living room at the moment. To my

irritation, he looked just as closed-off as usual, despite being borderline cruel tome earlier.

“He’s someone who knows a lot about vampires,” was his cool response.

“Why are you taking me with you?” I had my suspicions but I wanted Gabriel to confirm them out loud.

He looked surprised that I was even asking. “One of those…” he paused, clearly fighting down a surge of anger. “… things crept into your room while you’re

sleeping. If you think I’m letting you out of my sight after that, you’re very much mistaken.”

Although some part of me would have been flattered by his protectiveness another day, today it just irritated me.

“Earlier you seemed perfectly content with the thought of me not being with you.” I couldn’t keep the bitterness from infusing my tone.

Gabriel’s hands gripped the sides of the armchair and a look of legitimate regret crossed his features. He looked down, not attempting to hide the expression this time.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said quietly. His voice, too, oozed regret. I was

surprised by the depth of the emotion. I stared at him, unsure what to say. Dozens of thoughts whirled through my brain but I was unable to put them into words.

He looked up, slowly, gaze intense. “You wanted to know more about me. This is your chance.” His bitter tone mirrored mine from earlier, which unsettled me.

Eli walked in with three steaming mugs of coffee, saving me from a response. He set them down and then returned with a pint of milk and bowl of sugar. My mouth

 

quirked into a half-smile; he had correctly guessed that I put aton of extra cream and sugar in my coffee before I deemed it drinkable.

I worked on getting it to the perfect level of sweetness as Eli sat down. My mind

wandered off yet again. Did I want to go with Gabriel? After thinking, I realized I probably didn’t have much choice. Gabriel would drag me along either way. Part of me dreaded the trip, knowing I’d probably be hurt sometime along the way, as my emotions always seemed to get damaged when I was around him. Plus, I’d already made up my mind to leave him.

But the other part of me wanted answers. If I walked away now, without ever

knowing what Gabriel was hiding, I might always regret it. My Wolf definitely

would regret it. She demanded an explanation for why our Mate was resisting us so much.

And, of course, there was the whole “creepy vampire sneaking into my room” thing. Despite the way Gabriel was treating me, I was still freaked out by the incident and wanted to stay closer to him for protection.

So you do want to go, then? Despite what he did earlier? I queried.

He owes us answers, was her firm response.

I furrowed my eyebrows in contemplation. I guess I’m just worried about getting hurt again.

But it will help us understand why he acts the way he does. I’ve never understood his actions…his Wolf wants us desperately, I can tell. He fights his Wolf.

The thought of Gabriel fighting himself because of me stung, and I sipped on the piping hot coffee to distract myself. Still, I knew she was right. My curiosity had always been insatiable, and I atleast deserved something for my efforts.

“I’ll go, then,” I said out loud, interrupting Gabriel and Eli’s murmured

conversation. Gabriel’s brows furrowed, as if he couldn’t believe I had ever

considered not going. He had the good grace to remain silent, though. Surely he knew I was still angry from earlier. I was not going to just act like nothing

happened, and I was not going to forgive him easily. He’d better have some damn good explanations in store.

 

*

Hall Of Supernatural Stories

*

 

After finishing my coffee I stretched out on the couch, trying desperately not to let thoughts of a lurking vampire invade my mind. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to

sleep in that room again.

“We’re leaving at sunrise,” Gabriel said, thankfully breaking into my disturbed thoughts. I nodded in response but didn’t look at him. I would make sure to have minimal contact with him, at least until he explained his hurtful actions. My

stubborn streak was winning out on this one. I wasn’t going to let my jumble of feelings for Gabriel get in the way of retrieving the answers I wanted, so he

definitely had a long trip ahead of him.

I dozed off a couple of times, but never reached a full sleep due to the disturbing thoughts that still lurked in the corners of my consciousness. Only a few hours

after the incident in my room, Gabriel and I were getting ready to hit the road. Eli volunteered to get the things I needed so I wouldn’t have to go backup to my

room; however, I was admittedly way too embarrassed that he would have to go

through my underwear to do so, so I decided to suck it up. I would only have to be in that room for a few more minutes to pack. Besides, it was daylight, so the

vampire was long gone.

“How long are we going to be gone?” I asked before heading upstairs. I’d thought it was a day trip initially, until Eli volunteered to pack my suitcase.

“Ideally we’ll be back before night tomorrow, but if not we’ll have to stay in a hotel for another night,” Gabriel replied monotonously. Despite the coffee he looked a

bit tired.

I blinked in surprise; we were staying somewhere overnight? A hotel? The thought of staying with Gabriel in a hotel room put me on edge, especially since we’d

probably share a room.

I hurried upstairs, pushing the thought from my mind and packing as quickly as I could.

A few minutes later, with a couple more instructions to Eli, we were on our way.

Gabriel took us towards apart of the pack village that I had never been to. The

sun’s first rays were just peeking over the horizon and the sky was a mottled blue- pink. I glanced around, inhaling the fresh morning air. I was just glad the vampires couldn’t be lurking about at this time.

I itched to ask Gabriel a question, as the silence was growing awkward and it was making me uncomfortable, but then I remembered my resolve to avoid talking to him as much as possible.

 

He must have sensed my unease, though. “What is it?” He asked, glancing at me out of the corner of his eye.

I sighed, annoyed that I was so easy to read. “I’m surprised you’re willing to leave the pack,” I said, keeping my tone clipped and as neutral as possible.

The question was sincere, though, and I’d been wondering about the answer since he said we were leaving. I knew how devoted Gabriel was to his Alpha duties.

Then again, he had left to come rescue me. The thought of such a gallant action

was confusing as it starkly contrasted with some of his more recent behavior.

“Raziel will only communicate with me, I could not send another in my stead,” he said curtly. I sighed athis attitude and didn’t push further; I supposed I’d find out soon enough.

I was utterly surprised when we stopped at along, flat building with numerous

garage doors. I hadn’t realized they had all these cars in the Black Mountains Pack village.

“We’re driving?” I asked incredulously, although it made sense if we were going to a more urban area.

“Vampires can’t smell as well as werewolves. It will be almost impossible for them to track us,” was his reply. Gabriel pulled out a small key and unlocked the padlock holding the garage door closest to us, sliding it up with a swift jerk. The car closest to us was large, black, and relatively new. It looked like some sort of Jeep.

 

*

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

*

“I wasn’t aware there were any roads around here.”

“We keep them well hidden.”

He indicated that I climb in the passenger’s side. It felt almost surreal, the thought of riding in a car with him. Almost… normal. I threw my bag in the backseat as

Gabriel climbed in the car and started it. He deftly pulled it out of the garage and around the side of the building, where I saw a rough, overgrown dirt road nearly hidden by brush. He began to drive down this road as I sat back in my seat, trying to ignore the jerks and bumps that came with driving on an unpaved road.

About an hour passed in silence, in which I was trying not to acknowledge the

sharp curves and steep drops on either side. It looked like we were almost to paved roads.

 

But then, the awkwardness between us was palpable. I had never been good with smoothing over uncomfortable moments. “What changed your mind?” I finally asked, when I felt like I couldn’t take anymore tense silence.

Gabriel glanced at me out of the corner of his eye, frowning slightly. “I mean letting me learn more about you.”

He shrugged. “I realized I could either let you in or shut you out. And after what

you’ve been through, you at least deserve some answers.” His voice was somewhat contemplative, as if he was just working through this in his own mind.

I was slightly taken aback by his honesty. “You seemed keen on shutting me out yesterday,” I said after a moment, deciding to take a chance.

As expected, Gabriel’s jaw clenched and his hands tightened on the steering wheel. “I told you I didn’t mean it like that,” he gritted out.

“Really? When you told me you wished you hadn’t brought me with you, you

didn’t mean that negatively?” In my frustration I couldn’t keep the sarcasm from coloring my words. I knew I was being argumentative, but I just didn’t care.

“It wasn’t a reflection on you.”

“Hmm,” I muttered noncommittally, glancing away so he wouldn’t see my hurt expression, attempting to stifle my growing frustration. The more we argued, the more awkward it would be during this car ride, I knew. I tried to reign in my

emotions.

Gabriel made an aggravated sound. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Just…” he trailed off, taking a deep breath. “You’ll learn everything soon enough.” Once again his tone implied that he was not looking forward to telling me.

I sighed, not liking his constantly vague answers. It was going to be a long car ride, I suspected.

My suspicions were correct. Gabriel informed me that it was nearly aten hour drive.

 

We stopped twice during the day to relieve ourselves and I grabbed a handful of

food from the gas station. The employee there stared at me as if he couldn’t believe I would eat all of that in one sitting, but I ignored his incredulity before returning to the car. I had a werewolf’s appetite and I knew we wouldn’t be stopping at a

drive-through. Gabriel definitely did not like to waste time.

I asked him once if he wanted me to switch off driving with him, but athis

incredulous look I quickly shut up. Mercifully, sleep soon found me and I was able to rest for the last half of the trip.

 

Gabriel nudged me awake sometime later and I opened my eyes begrudgingly,

rubbing them as I stared at our surroundings. The car’s clock read 5:13pm, and I

understood why it was a two-day trip. It would be far too dangerous to carry on as sunset was fast approaching. I had quickly learned that vampires liked to popup in unexpected places, although hopefully they hadn’t tracked us. We were in a city

now, and I was surprised all of the lights around us hadn’t woken me up sooner. It appeared to be a pretty big human settlement judging by the size of the hotel we were parked at. “La Quinta Inn,” I mentally read. The hotel had several floors and was well-maintained. Looked nice enough.

I stepped out of the car and stretched my stiff muscles, glad we had arrived.

Gabriel grabbed his small bag and my backpack before leading the way towards the front entrance. A few groups of humans milled about in front, many of them looking hassled as they tried to yank their bags out of their cars. Internally, I

smiled. Those bags would have been no problem with werewolf strength.

As we approached the front desk, the young woman looked up, eyes widening marginally when they landed on Gabriel. She subtly glanced him over

appreciatively. I felt my Wolf growl in irritation and I tensed up instinctively, not liking the way this human looked at my Mate. I glared at her despite my better

judgment, and as her eyes met mine she flinched slightly before glancing away.

‘Get ahold of yourself!’ I snapped mentally. I was acting like a jealous idiot over a Mate that barely cared about me. This painful thought calmed me down.

“Okay, so one king bed?” The lady asked, grinning a little too brightly at Gabriel. “Two beds would be better,” was his retort. The lady blinked in surprise and I

looked away, trying to ignore the pain that flashed through me. Gabriel stiffened noticeably and a distant part of me wondered if he could sense my hurt. It stung, but I couldn’t say it was unexpected. We didn’t share abed back athis house, so why would we here? Besides, the logical side of my brain knew that I was still

trying to give him the cold shoulder until I got my answers. That would be much more difficult if we shared abed; this was for the best.

As she worked on the reservation he pulled out a credit card. With mild interest I wondered how he got funds. In my pack, the generations before us had worked

hard and made many wise investments and business decisions. Their money had compounded over the years so several families in the pack were just born into

wealth, especially the Alpha. Others in my pack worked part or full-time at the

human settlement nearby to earn extra money. Since the nearest human city to the Black Mountains Pack was so far away, I assumed some of Gabriel’s money had come from his father.

 

Within twenty minutes we were up on the fourth floor and Gabriel was sliding the key card into the slot. Sure enough, there were two beds. The room was large

enough with a flatscreen TV and a mini refrigerator but I didn’t care about the

niceties as I strode over to the far bed and dumped my things unceremoniously.

Gabriel obviously saw my agitation and knew exactly what it was about. “It’s better this way,” he said stiffly.

Feeling another surge of anger, I tried to fight the retort from rising to my lips. I

knew he was probably right, but he had wounded my pride so much recently that it was difficult to recover. “I’m going to take a shower,” I spit out instead. I just

needed to get away from him for a few minutes before I said something I regretted. Hopefully a shower would help wash away the burning aggravation.

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#Tobecontinued….

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